I WAS ABOUT TO BE STONED (Jn. 8: 1-10)
It was prayer time. Only, I was not headed for prayer but being dragged to a place where I would be stoned. And of all places they dragged me to the Temple. The house of God had become a common place. It was no longer used for prayer. These people were taking me to a man that had driven some of them out of the Temple with a whip. He had overturned their tables and scattered their precious money. Now they were all back and doing what they always did, cheat the people. I had heard that a man by the name of Jesus was interrupting their business. Of all things, He was disobeying their laws and traditions. I was being brought before him while He was teaching a large group of people. Those that brought me were teachers of the Law and religious leaders. They spoke to him harshly and in anger. They had something against this man that upset them. I was brought before him to prove one of their legal arguments. I was used to trap or corner him. “Teacher,” they demanded, “this woman was apprehended while committing adultery. Moses in the Law ordered us to stone such a woman! What do you say we should do?”
The Teacher was not at all surprised or moved by their accusation or my presence. It seemed as if He had anticipated their action and intention. It was obvious that they were more upset with Him, than with me. They just kept on demanding an answer that would support their interpretation of the Law. Originally, the Law on infidelity required that both transgressors were to be punished (Lev. 20:10). Now, men were exempt and women were stoned. Jesus did not hurry with an answer. Instead, He took His time, bent down to the ground and began to write something with His finger in the dirt. What ever it was, it was hidden from my sight; but those that saw it were too embarrassed to repeat it. It had something to do with what they had done and were doing to women like me. But when what the teacher had written did not silence them, He raised Himself up and very calmly demanded, “If any one of you has not sinned, let him be the first to pick up a stone and throw it at me.”
The teacher did not expect a response. He stooped down again and kept on writing on the ground. He acted as if nothing was happening around him. He left me standing alone watching my accusers. One by one, from the oldest to the youngest, they disappear quickly and quietly. Not a one picked up a stone, not a one dared to look me in the face and not a one remained to accuse me. This man had made everyone feel guiltier than I was. Oh, I was guilty; but it was not my doing alone. These outstanding citizens had a lot to do with the kind of life I had to lead that, just to survive. I was coerced more than I volunteered. But that did not matter under the Law of Moses that had been altered to suit man. The woman only was at fault, even if she was the victim. And I had been victimized many times by the very men who intended to stone me. Thanks to Jesus, no one stayed to condemn or stone me. Many of the faces turned red and hung their heads when they were asked whether they had not done what I was being accused of. These lawyers and the religious leaders were using me to trap the teacher, but they fell into their own trap. While they were pointing one finger at me, three pointed back at them. They had met their match. He was measuring them with the measure they were measuring me. They stood condemned with the condemnation they had intended for me. Oh what a relief I felt that there was at long last a man that was not taken in by the falsification of God’s Law.
When Jesus raised Himself up, we were just the two of us. He turned towards me and asked, “Woman, where are those that brought you to me? Has no one sentenced you to death?” Meekly and appreciatively I replied, “No one Lord.” By then His eyes were fully resting on me. His voice was very gentle and soft and His words tender and compassionate. He radiated forgiveness and understanding. Every word that He spoke to me felt like refreshing raindrops during a dry season. This man Jesus was giving we a breath of new life. I heard Him say, “Neither do I sentence you. Go now and sin no more.”
When all this was happening to me, I did not really know who Jesus was. I was extremely grateful that he delivered me from being stoned. But when I took it upon myself to find out who he was, I was deeply humbled that the Son of God should have taken such a defensive interest in me. It was he that forgave me and urged me not to continue living in sin. Prior to having been dragged before him, I did not have the strength or courage to refuse offering favors to men. But after having been in his presence, I was able to deny my lower instincts and allow reason to guard my feelings. I was no longer that person that yielded to sensual temptations. It was not easy to suppress my unwholesome appetite for forbidden fruits. But with the warning of the Lord’s word ringing in my ears, I became victorious. Those who tried to condemn me, herein and after avoided me. Yes, Jesus did defend me and He can be there for you.